Friday, 17 June 2016

The Beach Therapy

"Travelling - It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller" 
-Ibn Battuta. 
I was on one of my usual browsing sessions on the internet when I discovered the destination to my next getaway, Murudeshwara. Thousands of Lord Shiva devotees visited Murudeshwara each year to pray at the holy temple. The temple was home to the second tallest Shiva statue in the world standing at 123 feet tall. One of the best things about the place, according to me was it's geographical location. The temple was on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It provided the perfect blend for a day trip. The photos on the internet escalated my excitement and I was ready to get going. Murudeshwara was easily accessible from Manipal by a two hour train journey from the Udupi railway station (four kilometers from Manipal).

 The next day, eight people including myself took the early morning train to Murudeshwara. It was safe to say that it would be an economic trip since the transport cost was bare minimum. As a student budget-trips were my top priority. The Western railway tracks of India, particularly South India provide a scenic view of fields that turn into lush green mountain with milky-white river water. Train travel allowed us me to enjoy this picturesque journey many times and here, on this trip, I sat once again lost in the my dreams as I looked out of the window. My friends and I got off the train as we finally reached our stop and took rickshaws to the temple, which was not very far from the railway station.

We felt the cool sea breeze and the scent of salt in the air as we approached the temple. The grand Shiva statute could be seen all the way from the railway station nevertheless we stuck our necks out from the rickshaw to get a better glimpse. It was around noon and the temple was crowded with hundreds of devotees when we arrived. We visited the temple after standing in a queue for a good amount of time. The gopuram (the entrance to the temple) was pyramidal in shape and to match the tall Shiva statue, it had been made to be eighteen floors tall. We waited some more to take the elevator up to the eighteenth floor. The view of the beach and the statute from that height was out of this world and I never wanted to come back. After taking some photos we decided to grab some lunch as all of us were hungry.

The Arabian sea looked immensely inviting post-lunch. We all made our way to the beach to dip our feet in the water. Growing up in Dar-es-salaam, I have grown to love beaches and coming to Murudeshwara brought back so many of my childhood memories. One of my friends arranged a boat ride for us and off we went into the sea. I enjoyed myself watching the boat break the waves and take us farther away from the shore.  After the boat trip and a little more beach fun we got into clean clothes. Many changing and showering facilities were available right by the beach and even though they were not fancy, they were decent for a beach trip. After all what was the point of some beach fun if you didn't get a little dirty, right?

  My friends and I sipped on some fresh juice as we watched the sun set. After browsing through the local street shops we went back to the railway station and took the train back home. On the way back we played Antakshri (Hindi songs singing game) and my friends were so good that they later went to win at the college level competition!  The trip was a memorable one and now I get to share it with you.

Thank you for reading. I hope you liked this blog post :)
Acknowledgements: The photo of us in the boat was taken by my friend and classmate Tridib :D

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